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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Dozens of broccoli florets gently simmer in a base with sautéed sweet onion and carrots, half and half, milk and chicken stock. Savory herbs and spices deliver a light touch of seasoning then handfuls of white cheddar melt into the mix. It’s a creamy, comforting bowl for this busy season!

This time of year my house looks like Santa’s kitchen exploded. There are canning jars for jam, flour and sugar out along with butter sitting ready for another batch of cookies. But we still have to eat real meals and soup is a great option.

Broccoli cheddar soup has always been a favorite in our family. It gained popularity in the 70s, fading in and out through the years. It’s fairly straightforward. Start by sautéing a few slightly sweet yet savory components – onions, carrots and garlic.

The base is rich with half and half, milk and chicken stock spiced with dry mustard, freshly grated nutmeg and a beautiful bay leaf. The zest of a lemon adds a note of brightness creating to perfect place to cook those gorgeous green florets of broccoli.

And we can’t call it cheddar without the cheese, a lot of cheese. I use white cheddar with a medium sharp flavor but you can use yellow cheddar. Buy a block and either shred or cut it into small chunks. But avoid the shredded packaged cheese. It is coated to prevent it from sticking together in the package and doesn’t melt as smoothly.

It’s an easy recipe and as with most soups is even more flavorful the second day, making it perfect for planning ahead. Top with seared prosciutto, perhaps just a tad more cheese and dinner is served!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium sweet onion, small chopped, about 1 cup

2 carrots, small chopped, about 1 cup

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

4 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon concentrated chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon dry mustard

Zest of 1 lemon, about ½ teaspoon

1 bay leaf

1 cup milk

2 cups half and half, divided

5 cups broccoli florets, about 3 large stalks

3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, medium sharpness, plus extra for serving – about 10-ounces

Strips of seared prosciutto or crispy bacon for serving, optional

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and carrots and sauté until very tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir in the chopped garlic and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted add the flour, stirring to blend into the vegetables then add the kosher salt and pepper.

Pour in the chicken stock, stirring until smooth and well blended. Add the chicken base, nutmeg, dry mustard, lemon zest and the bay leaf. Simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken slightly.

Pour in 1 cup of the half and half plus the milk. Add the broccoli, nestling into the soup base. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender, stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat to low, pour in the remaining cup of half and half and blend in the cheese. Stir until the cheese has completely melted into the soup.

To serve, top with searing prosciutto or crispy bacon and a touch of extra cheese!

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

December 11, 2019
: Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Dozens of broccoli florets gently simmer in a base with sautéed sweet onion and carrots, half and half, milk and chicken stock. Savory herbs and spices deliver a light touch of seasoning then handfuls of white cheddar melt into the mix.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, small chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 carrots, small chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated chicken base, such as Better Than Bouillon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • Zest of 1 lemon, about ½ teaspoon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups half and half, divided
  • 5 cups broccoli florets, about 3 large stalks
  • 3 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, medium sharpness, plus extra for serving – about 10-ounces
  • Strips of seared prosciutto or crispy bacon for serving, optional
Directions
  • Step 1 Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and carrots and sauté until very tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and sauté for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Step 2 Toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted add the flour, stirring to blend into the vegetables then add the kosher salt and pepper.
  • Step 3 Pour in the chicken stock, stirring until smooth and well blended.
  • Step 4 Add the chicken base, nutmeg, dry mustard, lemon zest and the bay leaf. Simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
  • Step 5 Pour in 1 cup of the half and half plus the milk. Add the broccoli, nestling into the soup base. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes or until the broccoli is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 6 Reduce the heat to low, pour in the remaining cup of half and half and blend in the cheese. Stir until the cheese has completely melted into the soup.
  • Step 7 To serve, top with searing prosciutto or crispy bacon and a touch of extra cheese.


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